Intake of pupils declines
Many of the 200 most popular schools are recruiting fewer Mathayom 1 students this year in response to the Basic Education Commission's policy to allow more students to continue on to Mathayom 4 at the same school.
Last year, some students of the elite Bodin Decha School staged a protest against the administration's refusal to allow them to pursue their studies at the senior secondary level at the school.
The demonstrations made headlines and prompted the intervention of top officials. Secondary schools now have to try and let as many of their students as possible stay at the same place.
"To be eligible to enrol at the same old school, Mathayom 3 graduates must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.00 for the past five semesters," secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat said yesterday.
In Bangkok, 26 popular schools now offer just 24,885 places for the Mathayom 1 class this year versus 26,802 last year.
Mathayom 1 seats at Suankularb Wittayalai School have been cut to just 400 from 544, at Satriwittaya School to 350 from 500 and at Sarawittaya School to 602 from 502.
Applications for all schools under the commission's supervision will open from this Thursday to March 18. Students have been advised to apply to schools near their homes rather than pin their hopes on popular schools.